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Open Roads Forum  >  Class C Motorhomes

 > Class C vs. Class A

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Bordercollie

Garden Grove, CA, USA

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Posted: 06/06/06 11:06am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"This makes no sense to me. The difference in size between a 27' Class C and a 27' Class A is ZERO. Ok, an extra 2' of width in the driver's area. Maybe a little more height. What I've noticed most is that sitting in the driver's seat of a Class A it feels bigger. That's because you have more rooom at the front. That's it. A little more personal space doesn't make for a bigger footprint going down the road. It's just an illusion. The way you're packed into a Class C makes it FEEL smaller but it's not.[/quote]" I can't see much difference between a 27' foot C or 27" A either except the shade from the overhead, greater protection in the cab, easier service, etc. How many 27' Class A's do you see nowadays, most A's are a lot longer to get the desired "elbow room". Choice of A versus C should be based on your usage and preferences, and usually requires some compromises.

Note: Due to invalid formatting, all formatting has been ignored.

Rick Jay

Greater Springfield area, MA

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Posted: 06/06/06 11:14am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JeF4y wrote:

Cab over bed & rear bedroom in C
Kodiak chassis is more common than the workhorse chassis (+ for C)
GCWR and capacities available for towing/cargo on my C far exceeded any A in a comparable price range.


Won't debate you on the first point.

The gasser Kodiak chassis uses the same basic drive train as the Workhorse W-22 & W-22: 8.1L & Allison. Yours has the Duramax, but from a parts availability standpoint, I'd say that would be even with the 8.1L. Personally, after getting used to the wide open space of the Class A cab, even the Kodiak cab seems a bit confining.

As far as price, the gasser Kodiaks are about the price range as the entry level A's, so that's about even.

As far as towing, although they love to advertise that the Kodiak's can tow "10,000 lbs.", the truth of the matter is most chassis's are loaded to the point that you're LUCKY if you can tow 5,000 lbs., and sometimes just 4,000 lbs. Just like the Ford & Workhorse Class A chassis's. Actually, if heavy towing IS a requirement, you can get a "short A" on a 26,000 lb. GCWR Ford chassis which could tow near the 10,000 lbs.. Again, same price range as a gasser Kodiak.

To the original poster, people sometimes make a statement that the "cab" of the Class C is "safer" because they have "air bags". There is no data to back up which chassis is "safer". The air bags are NEEDED in the Class C cabs because the driver/passenger as so close to the windshield and doors. If this is a concern of your, I'd suggest doing a search on safety in Class A & Class C motorhomes, and you should find plenty of good reading. All of it opinion and conjecture. The few Class A accidents that have been posted on here usually result in the occupants of the motorhome doing fairly well.

Personally, I wouldn't use safety as a deciding point for choosing one over the other. See which floorplan, amenities & price suit your needs best.

Good Luck,

~Rick

* This post was edited 06/06/06 07:18pm by an administrator/moderator *


2005 Georgie Boy Cruise Master 3625 DS on a Workhorse W-22
Rick, Gail, 1 girl (25-Angel since 2008), 1 girl (20), 2 boys (21 & 18).
2001 Honda Odyssey, Demco Aluminator tow bar & tow plate, SMI Silent Partner brake controller.


OldDodgeJohn

Franklinton, NC

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Posted: 06/06/06 11:22am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bordercollie wrote:

Quote:

"This makes no sense to me. The difference in size between a 27' Class C and a 27' Class A is ZERO. Ok, an extra 2' of width in the driver's area. Maybe a little more height. What I've noticed most is that sitting in the driver's seat of a Class A it feels bigger. That's because you have more rooom at the front. That's it. A little more personal space doesn't make for a bigger footprint going down the road. It's just an illusion. The way you're packed into a Class C makes it FEEL smaller but it's not.
"

I can't see much difference between a 27' foot C or 27" A either except the shade from the overhead, greater protection in the cab, easier service, etc. How many 27' Class A's do you see nowadays, most A's are a lot longer to get the desired "elbow room". Choice of A versus C should be based on your usage and preferences, and usually requires some compromises.


"nowadays". :-) My Class A is a whopping 23' long but it's older than dirt.

I wasn't saying an A was better than a C. Just saying that the size issue didn't make sense to me. Given similar lengths, one isn't any more maneuverable than the other.

nybasset

Hilton, NY

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Posted: 06/06/06 11:39am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We just moved from a 21 ft Class C to a 32 ft Class A, w/2 slides.

We loved our C. It was a 21 ft Dutchmen Express. Put 14K miles on in in a year. We started small because we weren't sure where the lifestyle was going to take us.

After a year in the C, it became very cramped for the 2 of us and 4 dogs. Manuveribility was critical for us-since I drive it myself frequently.

We started looking to up-size, and found, an entry level A gave us much more bang for the buck size wise than a C (for what we needed). We wanted a bedroom in back, and more cargo space. We also wanted slides. I was concerned about the CCC of larger (28' and up) C with 2 slides. It's pretty weighted down.

We ended up with a 2006 Four Winds Hurricane 31D, Class A, which we love. I will admit, the thought of driving it initially was intimidating for me. And, they do handle differently, but I have no problems driving it now. I'm actually more comfortable manuevering this because we have a back up camera.


Jackson & Lisa
2006 Four Winds Hurricane 31D
4 Bassets-
Adrianne
Lucas's Definitely a Diva (Princess) CTL1 CTL2-H CTL2-F CTL2-S NAC
C-ATCH2 Buford CGC RE NAJ NAP OJP OFP TN-N NAC ChWC ChCL ChST ChFH ChJP ChSN
Lucas's Living on the Edge (Hobbes)

Ayden

San Jose, Ca, USA

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Posted: 06/06/06 11:59am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Rick Jay wrote:

Early in our research, we had mistakenly followed the "Class A's are for couples, Class C's are for families" stereotype.


This maybe a stereo type per se but there is no question the Class C has the largest selection of family oriented RV models than A's from very low prices to high. This is typical and often the case.

The number of Class A's available for families could probably be counted in one hand where as all Class C's are equiped and designed primarily for families of varying sizes.

The C's biggest problem is CCC and towing capacity, however there are those that have adequate CCC and storage. The only time size or living space becomes a factor is for families or couples who stay and live primarily inside the RV, this is not often the case for active families who most often stay and play outside of the RV until bed time.

My std model comes w/ just over 3,000 lbs CC, and has a towing capacity of 5,000 lbs. This is largely because I have no slides. This is typical for most gas Class A's and some cases better. Slides in any RV most often deduct 1,000 lbs per slide off of CCC and towing.

The DP's are the ultimate RV in my opinion for living space, CCC and towing, but price selection and choices for families are very very limited. They can accomodate families but it will require planning and organizing at bed time and wake up time. In a C this kind of planning is not needed unless the couch and dinnette have sleeping occupants.

The separation from any C to an A is the cabover bed, which in any case and points IS a second bedroom, while the rest is living space.

FYI for those who don't know. Hydraulic levelers and backup camera's aren't exclusively for A's.

JeF4y

Sussex, WI, USA

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Posted: 06/06/06 02:43pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Rick Jay wrote:


The gasser Kodiak chassis uses the same basic drive train as the Workhorse W-22 & W-22: 8.1L & Allison. Yours has the Duramax, but from a parts availability standpoint, I'd say that would be even with the 8.1L. Personally, after getting used to the wide open space of the Class A cab, even the Kodiak cab seems a bit confining. The E-450 driver's area is like being in a cage! [emoticon]


I couldn't imagine going to a van cab. I have vans and don't like driving them long distance. The class A cab would be awesome. I just can't lose the overhead bunk. Kids for another couple years...

Quote:


As far as price, the gasser Kodiaks are about the price range as the entry level A's, so that's about even.


Yep, no debate there

Quote:


As far as towing, although they love to advertise that the Kodiak's can tow "10,000 lbs.", the truth of the matter is most chassis's are loaded to the point that you're LUCKY if you can tow 5,000 lbs., and sometimes just 4,000 lbs. Just like the Ford & Workhorse Class A chassis's. Actually, if heavy towing IS a requirement, you can get a "short A" on a 26,000 lb. GCWR Ford chassis which could tow near the 10,000 lbs.. Again, same price range as a gasser Kodiak.


I'm not really disagreeing because you did say "MOST" chassis', but certainly not all chassis...

For my situation, I'd respond that it depends largely on the RV you get on that chassis... The reason I picked my RV (6316, single slide) is because it is very light in comparison to all the others which are 2-5 feet longer and have 1-2 more slides.

My RV FULLY wet (fuel, water & LP to the rim), WITH me, wife, 2 kids, 2 dogs, clothes, & food is STILL under 19,000lbs. That leaves me +7000# that I can tow.

I tow a trailer that goes around 4500# give or take a couple hundred, and hover right around 22,000lbs.

Granted, you can't do this with most any other model RV on the Kodiak chassis because they are all 34+' long and seem to have 3 slides.

Quote:


Personally, I wouldn't use safety as a deciding point for choosing one over the other. See which floorplan, amenities & price suit your needs best.


I'm with you there... If it's an RV that is uncomfortable for you to drive or 'camp' in, safety won't keep it in your garage/back yard. You'll be looking to get out of it.


It is not until you've lost everything, that you can truly gain anything.

2005 Gulfstream Endura 6316 Duramax
23' Pace American hauling my race bikes
http://www.cbr600rr.com

driveby

Vancouver BC Canada

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Posted: 06/06/06 05:33pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

How long is a piece of string? Exactly the same answer type here IMHO for A vs. C - My retired parent's would use an A and us? C for the permanent beds and family floor plans. And even that is a generalization - many prefer A for family. If you go by stereotype A = Couples C = Families with kids. A has more storage/CCC but C has more floorplans under 32' in general.

One wil be better for *you* and won't be the same as mine. Thank goodness for options.


2008 Itasca Sunova 35J Class A
1997 TJ Sahara, hard and soft tops and AC
Held together via Roadmaster Falcon 2 tow bar and stopped by US Gear Unified Brake system.


HiTech

Texas

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Posted: 06/06/06 07:20pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Class C's have a crash tested front end, impact absorbing bumper and air bags. A's don't. Any vehicle "needs" them - any vehicle can hit a bridge support. Almost any occupants benefit from modern airbags in an accident that triggers them.

Rick Jay

Greater Springfield area, MA

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Posted: 06/06/06 08:16pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

HiTech,

I respectfully disagree about your comment that "Any vehicle "needs" them...". The smaller the vehicle, the more they are needed. Their main purpose is to slow the deceleration forces placed upon the human body in a collision, and to prevent one from colliding with the windshield. In a Class A, the additional momentum of a heavier vehicle PLUS the fact that the windshield is much further in front of the driver/passenger added to the fact that the majority of vehicles will strike the Class A UNDER the occupants (right about where I have a 10" steel beam) means that the air bag would have negligible additional effect. In fact, it could hinder attempting to gain control immediately after the air bag deploys. A small vehicle will most likely come to an abrupt stop. A more massive vehicle is more likely to keep in motion after the collision with the "little guy". Except of cours for the bridge support. [emoticon]

And any vehicle can hit a bridge support, but if I start worrying about that, I'd never leave the house.

The "crash tested front end" is crash tested on a vehicle that weighs 6,000 lbs. (stripped chassis), it's not crash tested as a 14,000 lb. motorhome with a 5,000 lb. vehicle being towed behind it. I believe that would change the results of the test.

Show me crash statistics that suggest that the Class C is safer? They don't exist. At best, with the presence of crumple zones, "crash testing" and air bags, they might equal the safety level of a A.

There are many reports of people who did not fare better because they had an air bag. Some of them are no longer with us. Rare occurrence, but quite possible.

The most important factor to RV safety while on the road is to be an alert and defensive driver operating a properly maintained vehicle within it's designed limits. In short, watch out for the other guy! [emoticon]

With all the other things to worry about in making a decision for the right motorhome, I wouldn't give this topic any consideration at all.

Be safe,

~Rick

HiTech

Texas

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Posted: 06/06/06 08:20pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would Rick.

Big vehicles hit stationary objects, and airbags help. Might as well say you don't worry about a crash as you only worry about certain kinds of crashes that support your case, but not others.

Since they don't crash test A's, they are likely very bad indeed in a crash. Cars became much safer once they started incorporating crash data into the new designs. I suspect a bus conversion with a crash tested body is far, far better than any un-crash-tested chassis in an A.

Modern airbags are much safer than the oldies which were not good for occupants under 100 lbs.

You are entitled to your opinion but it does not invalidate the contrary positions. Many of us believe the crash tested cockpit of a Class C is a big advantage over the cockpit of an untested vehicle.

* This post was edited 06/07/06 10:33am by HiTech *

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